Red Flag (Fire Weather) Warning in California

This alert expired on August 17, 2020 at 11:00:00 AM PDT
National Weather Service
Alert area: Coastal North Bay Including Point Reyes National Seashore; East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range; East Bay Interior Valleys; North Bay Interior Valleys; North Bay Mountains; Northern Monterey Bay; San Francisco; San Francisco Bay Shoreline; San Fransisco Peninsula Coast; Santa Clara Valley Including San Jose; Santa Cruz Mountains

Posted August 17, 2020 at 7:43:00 AM PDT


* AFFECTED AREA...The entire San Francisco Bay region including
the Santa Cruz Mountains, the South Bay, East Bay Hills and
North Bay.

* THUNDERSTORMS...Thunderstorms over the ocean are moving onshore,
mainly from San Francisco northward. So far most activity has
been over the North Bay but more storms may pass over the Bay
Area this morning. Lightning strikes have already started new
fires this morning. Not all locations will see thunderstorms
but any lightning strikes will likely lead to new fire starts
given the current heat wave.

* WIND...Locally gusty winds possible near any thunderstorms.

* IMPACTS...Increase in wildfire starts in proximity to
thunderstorms due to lightning. Fires may spread rapidly due
to dry fuels and gusty outflow winds.

Recommended actions

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now...or will shortly. A combination of
strong winds...low relative humidity...and warm temperatures can
contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Tips from

Excerpted from

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.
    Regularly clean roof and gutters.

  • Use 1/8-inch mesh screen beneath porches, decks, floor areas, and the home itself. Also, screen openings to floors, roof and attic.

  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools: a rake, axe, handsaw or chain saw, bucket and shovel.

  • Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.

  • Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc. Move them outside of your defensible space.

  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool, or hydrant.

  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.

  • More about what to do before a wildfire.

Excerpted from

  • Wear protective clothing when outside – sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face.

  • Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains. Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat.

  • Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft. Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen.

  • Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source.

  • Connect garden hoses to outdoor water faucet and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water.

  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks. Leave sprinklers on and dowsing these strutures as long as possible.

  • If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready.
    Place a ladder against the house in clear view.

  • More about what to do during a wildfire.

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